Genome size: A novel genomic signature in support of Afrotheria

Carlo Alberto Redi, Silvia Garagna, Maurizio Zuccotti, Ernesto Capanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Molecular phylogenetic analyses suggest an emerging phylogeny for the extant Placentalia (eutherian) that radically departs from morphologically based constructions of the past. Placental mammals are partitioned into four supraordinal clades: Afrotheria, Xenarthra, Laurasiatheria, and Euarchontoglires. Afrotheria form an endemic African clade that includes elephant shrews, golden moles, tenrecs, aardvarks, hyraxes, elephants, dugongs, and manatees. Datamining databases of genome size (GS) shows that till today just one afrotherian GS has been evaluated, that of the aardvark Orycteropus afer. We show that the GSs of six selected representatives across the Afrotheria supraordinal group are among the highest for the extant Placentalia, providing a novel genomic signature of this enigmatic group. The mean GS value of Afrotheria, 5.3 ± 0.7 pg, is the highest reported for the extant Placentalia. This should assist in planning new genome sequencing initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-487
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Afrotheria
  • Euarchontoglires
  • Genome size
  • Laurasiatheria
  • Mammals
  • Xenarthra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Genome size: A novel genomic signature in support of Afrotheria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this